Margaret Mary Fitzgerald was born in Somerville, MA, September 9th, 1920, the daughter of Catherine Leahy and William Joseph Fitzgerald. She had four brothers, William, Joseph, James (a Maryknoll Priest), and Edward. Both James and Edward have predeceased her.
After graduating from St. John’s High School in 1938, she attended Higgins Commercial Machine School followed by one year (1939-1940) at Fay’s Evening School in Boston, MA. She was employed at Filene’s, in Boston for 6 months and then at Nicholson & Co. in Cambridge, MA for the next six years. Margaret entered the Maryknoll Sisters Congregation on October 5th, 1946 at the Maryknoll Sisters Center from St. John the Evangelist Parish, Cambridge, MA. At Reception she was given the religious name, Sister M. William Karen. She made her First Vows on April 6th, 1949 and her Final Vows on April 6th, 1952, both at the Maryknoll Sisters Center.
Her first assignment was to work on the publication, The Field Afar, a predecessor of the Maryknoll Magazine, from 1950– 1951 while residing at Crichton House, Croton – on –Hudson. In 1951, she was assigned to Bethany House, at that time the Maryknoll Sisters nursing home. In 1952, she began work at the Maryknoll Post Office, becoming Post Mistress in 1956– 1973.
She then studied Theology at the Maryknoll Seminary from 1973 – 1975, after which she was named Congregational Personnel Director from 1975 – 1980.
In 1981, after 30 years of service in the United States, Sister Margaret received her first overseas assignment to Bolivia, South America. After six months of language study at Cochabamba, she moved to Montero, teaching her marketable craft-making skills to women.
In the following year, 1982, she received an invitation to work in Riberalta, the Beni area of Bolivia, as Secretary to the Bishop in the Pando Vicariate. She held this position until 2005 and then returned to the Maryknoll Sisters Center working part-time in the Development Department until 2006. Sister Margaret retired in 2009 to the Eden Community at the Maryknoll Sisters Center where she died on March 24th, 2016.
A Vespers Service will be held on Monday, March 28th at 4:15 p.m. in the Main Chapel at the Maryknoll Sisters Center. A funeral Mass of the Resurrection will be on Tuesday, March 29th at 11:00 a.m. also in the Main Chapel at the Maryknoll Sisters Center. Interment will follow in the Maryknoll Sisters Cemetery on the Center grounds.